Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Climate Of Fear II: Could Liberal Hothouse Gases Cause Global Political Warming?

A prior post discussed what I called a Climate of Fear: Bush-Cheney supporters choosing not to display bumper stickers and lawn signs out of concern of car, home and other damage inflicted by angry liberals. I noted that the apparent phenomenon does not appear to be symmetrical. The asymmetries continue - at least in anecdotal form. The abode of the Man Without Qualities is Los Feliz, a heavily Democratic part of Los Angeles. One hears many pro-Kerry rants in these parts, as fully caffeinated denizens of Cafe Los Feliz (the best coffee and pastries in Los Angeles), the Coffee Table (brooding writers abound ... originally solely in Silver Lake, but now also in Eagle Rock), the Alcove (up the street from from Childrens Hospital's, which helps to provide an interesting lunch crowd including child cardiologists who say that hardly anyone performs the "Mustard procedures" any more and whose Saban Research Institute proves that even a man as politically silly as Haim Saban can do a lot of good) and any number of other local haunts share their far-liberal political views freely, often sauced with verbal venom and confessing to an increasing lack of personal control and rationality. This quote from Kerry-Edwards supporter and British novelist Margaret Drabble appeared in the London Daily Telegraph, but could almost have been overheard at either Coffee Table: "My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness. I now loathe the United States and what it has done to Iraq and the rest of the helpless world. I can hardly bear to see the faces of Bush and Rumsfeld, or to watch their posturing body language, or to hear their self-satisfied and incoherent platitudes." Such diatribes are often rather loud and scornful - which is fine by me, since such rants are not really violent in my experience. But I have not yet witnessed such a public pro-Democratic rant confronted by someone nearby who has been required to overhear it, even though there is often a substantial involuntary audience (this is, after all, largely an entertainment industry colony).

One doesn't hear pro-Bush-Cheney rants very often here in Los Feliz, but that is consistent with the political makeup of the place. What is more curious is that one doesn't hear pro-Bush-Cheney rants in more Republican areas, such as nearby Glendale and La Canada-Flintridge. Moreover, even though there appear to be fewer Republican rants, there seem to be more anecdotes of Republicans being hooted down and/or confronted by overhearing liberals, even where the Republicans were speaking privately and rather quietly. A Republican friend recently had such an experience at a Dodgers game, for example. Indeed, around Los Feliz, if one cares to listen one can hear people telling others with satisfaction of how the speaker had recently interrupted a conversation between Bush-Cheney supporters, often because the speaker "just couldn't stand the b******t anymore" or the like - a sentiment very much like that of Ms. Drabble.

Could the growing human emission of Democratic hothouse gases cause global warming in the national political climate of fear? The science is incomplete. But there are some troubling signs that frustrated liberals may be resorting more often to violence beyond a good rant or a less-acceptable challenge of nearby Republican table conversation.

MORE: Glenn Reynolds is on the scene in Knoxville, TN covering the latest objections to Mr. Bush's Presidency.

STILL MORE: Link from Drudge.


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